NewSchool Dining iPhone App

For my second Major Studio 2 project, I got my inspiration from when I went for a lunch at the University Center's cafeteria. It was one of those moments when you're having meal alone by yourself and your thoughts started wandering around and eventually inspired you to do a project with it. Back then I came in its rush hour, between the donut hole of classes around 3 PM to 3.50 PM, so the lines were reaaaaallly long. The next thing I know, I presented my solution idea to Anthony and here's what I've got after three weeks of concept development, user research and prototype implementation:


I started my concept development process by using the HMW (How Might We) method originally developed by Stanford First I stated my problem domain and what possible solution I can do to achieve my goals, then I expand by defining the HMW question into a more detailed definition of ambiguous terms.


Then I did a quick user survey to my peer students and asked some questions related to the Newschool Dining experience. After collecting the responses, I found interesting facts that worked the exact way as I expected. As predicted, DT students don't really consider the new cafeteria as their main option for dining, as they only go there not so often. Other interesting fact is that 60% students don't know that their Newschool student card can be used as a payment method in our cafeterias, and it will even exempt us from paying food tax!

So I continued my user research by interviewing two real-life users who are actually enrolled in the Meal Plan program to see if there are any valuable inputs that they can contribute. I made several User Personas with each of listing their Goals and Needs, their Pain Points, and also their A-Day-in-Life scenario. Here's some of the examples I've collected:

From there, I started creating The Affinity Map. I mapped their needs and pain points and try to categorize them into 3 common topic: Knowledge, Newcard/MealPlan issue, and Time Management. For each category I made a list of possible solutions that will eventually lead me to define the criteria and features of the Newschool Dining App.


Time for some paper prototyping! Based on the quick survey result about the feature suggestions and also using the Affinity Map, I started sketching out roughly on paper, and I eventually tested it out with 5 users to see their feedback. Here are some of the rough screenshots:

4. VISUAL MOCKUPS (very early stage)

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And finally, after several iteration that was done very rapidly (it's a three-week project!), I managed to make an interactive prototype of the Newschool Dining iPhone app. This app will enable the students to select oncampus dining venues and time, and see their daily menu of what's available. It also enables you to order food online ahead from the convenience of their phone, and lets them pick their order directly to the University Center's cafeteria by presenting their phone.

This was my first attempt on designing iOS app, and I can say that I've had so much fun. It was a good and thorough experience, and I learned a lot. In any case if the interactive HTML renderer above won't load, you can also see the working flow in the video below: